Diversity in Whisky: How the Industry is Addressing Inclusion and Representation

Diversity in Whisky: How the Industry is Addressing Inclusion and Representation

As diversity and inclusion become increasingly important issues for big players in various industries, including whisky, we explore what steps the whisky world is taking to create a more inclusive environment for both drinkers and industry professionals.

One example of a company leading the way is Glenmorangie, whose recent Wes Anderson-style advert, "It's Kind of Delicious and Wonderful," was praised for its diverse cast of ethnic- and gender-diverse 'drinkers.' This marks a significant change from the brand's previous marketing, which largely featured white, male faces.

Other major players in the whisky industry are also taking steps towards greater diversity and inclusion. The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) launched its Diversity and Inclusivity Charter, while Edrington-Beam Suntory started its own internal D&I steering group. Diageo, which owns several popular whisky brands such as Talisker and Johnnie Walker, launched its Society 2030: Spirit of Progress plan, a 10-year initiative that includes a focus on inclusion and diversity.

However, there is still much work to be done. OurWhisky conducted an analysis of the Instagram feeds of the world's 150 largest whisky brands and found that representation of non-white ethnicities was only 17.9%. People of color accounted for just 14.8% in posts made by brands outside of India, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, and Taiwan.

The UK whisky industry is also lagging behind the US in terms of black and minority ethnic representation. Founder of not-for-profit organization Be Inclusive Hospitality, Lorraine Copes, has yet to meet a person of color representing a whisky brand, despite 17% of the sector identifying as black, Asian, or ethnic minority.

However, progress is being made, with apprenticeships bringing in a younger and more diverse future workforce. Diageo has also committed to bringing more suppliers of female or minority ethnic origin into its supply chain.

At Cask and Bottle Co, we are proud to have founders and team members from diverse ethnic backgrounds, and we will continue to strive for greater diversity and inclusion within the whisky industry.

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